The present situation and the future development of the functional membrane are discussed. It is expected that functional membranes will play increasingly greater roles in the chemical industry of the coming decade. These membranes are formed from polymer films, liquid membranes or bilayer membranes. The two most important technologies based on the polymeric membrane are reverse osmosis and ion exchange. The liquid membrane is used for separation of ionic species; an extension of the solvent extraction process. By using appropriate ligands and ionophores, highly selective separations are realized. The active transport is made possible if the physical and chemical potentials are applied to the transport process. More advanced functional membranes may be designed on the basis of the synthetic bilayer membrane.